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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you need to rewax plastic foundation if you pressure wash the frames and foundation?

I have the earlier problem and now that the boxs and frames have been pressure washed.

Do you think that I need to go in and rewax the foundation?

If so what is the best way to do this?

Thanks,

Jim
 

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Need to, No. But will get better drawing rate if you do.

Melt the wax in a pot big enough to get a 6" paint roller into, then use roller to apply liberal amount of wax to the foundation. Need not be fancy or neat, just don't add so much wax that the hex pattern is obscured.


Aaron
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
do you just heat the wax in a pan or do you use water to possibly keep the wax from over heating?
 

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I would re-wax. Sometimes you can just rub a block of wax across the open cells but when I used wax I had the best luck just heating lightly in a pan and using a throwaway chip brush to gently brush wax on. I didn't use water.
 

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Jim, I rewax all the plastic foundation I use after washing (wax moth issues). I picked up a small Rival crockpot for $2 and use that to melt the wax. When done just unplug it. Both the small paint roller and the chip brush work well. I recently switched to using the roller and prefer it over the brush.
 

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When I rewaxed my plastic foundation I used a 4" trim roller. I have an electric fry pan that I heated the wax in. Heat the wax to 180 F that will be mostly on low I use a thermometer to keep the wax from overheating or catching fire. You will need a lot of wax! 5 pounds should do 10 deeps.
 

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When I rewaxed my plastic foundation I used a 4" trim roller. I have an electric fry pan that I heated the wax in. Heat the wax to 180 F that will be mostly on low I use a thermometer to keep the wax from overheating or catching fire. You will need a lot of wax! 5 pounds should do 10 deeps.
Being able to hold the temperature just right is a bit of an issue. If too hot the wax tends to run down to the bottom of cells where it is not needed. A little cooler and it tends to build up more on the rims of cell patterns. Kamon Reynolds in his Youtube shows a good treatment that makes the wax go a long ways. I may fiddle with a pick up roller in the electric fry pan which I can move the foundation across which will be applying the wax to the bottom of the sheet. I am hoping this eliminates the pooling in cell bottoms. A rainy day project.

There are some videos of putting a float of wax on top of heated water in a tank and dipping the sheets vertically. As they are pulled out they come up through the floating wax. I found the heat distorted the foundation a bit and wasted wax too. Perhaps temperature control was not right. I took that method off my list but it looked good the way the fellow was doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Have you used the cp to melt and clean old wax?

I am guessing that even with a pressure washer you will not clean 100% of the crud from the foundation? Do you just roll over any left overs on the foundations and the bees clean it up??

I have a lot from last fall after the bees cleaned up a bunch of comb but it is dark. I have some new wax foundation to paint on to day but with water would it clean the old wax to be able to be used? I usually just give to bee club members that do something with it. ;). I just need some to use for this and similar. Thanks. Jim
 

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Last year I scraped several deeps worth of frames culling old comb. After washing the foundation there was still some crud left. I was going to try and clean it better and re-wax it but ran out of time. Wound up just putting it back in the hives. It didn't seem to bother the bees any and they cleaned it up and drew it out just fine.
 

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I found that pressure washing still left the pollen in the bottom of the cell indentations.

I don't know what cp is JimD. I made a solar wax melter to do the first melt from the frames. I take the melted wax in my pans then use the electric fry pan to process it further. I find I have to remelt at least 2 times to get it clean. I'm really small, 4 hives this year. My mentor has 80 colonies and still uses a solar melter to cycle out his older frames. I believe he just trashes his old plastic foundation after melting. The heat warps them and makes them unusable. I don't know how much wax he gets every year from uncapping and recycling but he says he always buys wax. He makes lots of candles and molded objects that he sells at craft fairs and farmer markets.

Good luck!
 

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JimD

I ended up with 2 electric fry pans so that's what I used. I only have 1 crock pot. I know the crock pot is deeper so it will hold more. When I do my melts I put some water in with the wax. On the first melt with old cocoons and dead bee bodies I use a 2 or 5 gal bucket and put the wax through a paint strainer. Let it sit over night and pour the water/honey out. Turn it over and scrap the propolis off of the bottom. Strain that 3 times to get really clean wax.
 

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I use an old electric slow cooker that my wife was about to throw out. Keep the wax between 160°F and 175°F. If the wax gets over 180*°F it will start to darken. You'll need to exercise the patience to let it melt slowly. I use a 4" foam roller. The foam will keep a lot of wax so I keep the roller and it is dedicated to waxing frames.
 
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